After blowing out Cudahy to begin the week, the Wauwatosa West boys basketball team dropped a heartbreaking last-second decision Friday at Shorewood.
The split week left Tosa West with a 4-4 overall record and tied for third in the Woodland-West Division entering this week. The Trojans play Wisconsin Lutheran on Wednesday and then Milwaukee Vincent Friday. They open the New Year at first-place Pius XI (8-0) Jan. 4.
The Trojans jumped out quickly against Shorewood, leading, 17-9, after the first quarter and they extended it to 33-21 at halftime. But the Greyhounds had a 48-34 second-half advantage, outscoring the Trojans 24-19 in the third and 24-15 in the fourth quarter.
'We came out sluggish to start the second half,' Tosa West coach Chad Stelse said. 'We didn't play sound defense for the first two possessions and they capitalized on that.'
Stelse said the Greyhounds are a tough team to figure out.
'Shorewood has been a very difficult team to read all season - you never really know what to expect, they were a different team the second half, but part of that was us giving up open looks from beyond the arc in the third quarter.
'You give a streaky team that is down open looks, they will knock them down and gain momentum and that's exactly what they did making seven second-half 3's.'
But Stelse found positives in the defeat, which snapped a four-game winning streak.
'Our effort was there; we had our chances down the stretch,' he said. 'We just didn't execute. I was really pleased how we moved the ball and played together on both ends the first half.
'We had some stretches in the second half when we stopped moving the ball and our offense suffered because of it.'
Andre Carroll had a huge game, scoring 27 points, while Blake Harvey added 14 and Ricky Landers 10. Shorewood had better balance, getting four guys in double figures in Donovan Freeman (18), Tejon Lucas (17), Carmen Purvis (14) and Kejuan Glosson (12).
'The guys were hurt and upset after the game like all competitors would be,' Stelse said. 'But I was proud of the way they put it behind them and came ready to get after it at our Saturday morning practice.
'You have to have short memories in this sport at times, and this instance was one where we need to move forward quickly.'
The Trojans opened the week by crushing Cudahy, 79-34, on Dec. 18 at home, as they were 15-for-19 from the free throw line and were led by Landers' 22 points, including 4-for-4 from the free throw line.
Carroll and Harvey also had 11 points and Reggie Cason had 10.
Tosa West ran out to a 19-7 first-quarter advantage and led 42-21 at intermission, doubling up the Packers. They then came out on fire in the third quarter, outscoring Cudahy, 20-2.
'I liked how our guys moved the basketball again,' Stelse said. 'When that happens, we have been successful shooting the ball (58 percent from the field, 10-for-18 from 3-point range).
'Balanced scoring was key with four guys in double figures. Reggie Cason also added seven assists to go along with his 10 points.'
But Stelse does feel his squad's defense needs to get better.
'Defensively, we're still a work in progress,' he noted. 'We need to work harder every day on the details that turn decent defensive teams into great defensive teams.'